Database of governance arrangements
Across Europe there is an inspiring array of experimentation with local governance arrangements for just and sustainable cities.
What is governance? It can be broadly understood as all formal and informal political processes (involving state and non-state actors) that lead to collective action.
On this database, you will find the summaries of results of a study on fruitful governance interventions for sustainable and just cities.
Would you like to get involved? We've asked some questions in the following sections, and you can share your suggestions with us via email to Philipp Spaeth. If you haven't already, please feel free to join the UrbanA Community of Practice.
Note: This page is currently under construction! Keep an eye out for colourful vignettes and videos, coming soon.
Enabling governance arrangements
Enabling governance arrangements are combinations of actor constellations and institutional settings that have proven a potential to support urban governance towards just and sustainable cities in several cases of real-world Governance Interventions.
Looking at a selection of ten situated governance interventions for sustainable and just cities (as summarized in our scenarios), we asked:
What key elements of governance arrangements enabled those interventions to come to fruition?
You can find background information on ten original, real-world governance interventions, our empirical basis, in our database of rich descriptions (for more information, please refer to the section methodology).
You will see references to these interventions in the form of brief examples to illustrate each enabling governance arrangement. The question numbers accompanying the examples, like “(Q18)”, will lead you to the pertinent section of the respective description of a real world governance intervention.
We assume that the enabling governance arrangements were aimed at sustainable and just outcomes, which makes it likely that they can be useful for interventions with similar goals in other instances as well. However, we do not claim that these enabling governance arrangements are the sole factors for bringing interventions to fruition, as the latter will always be embedded in local contexts with place-based factors being important as well.
When clicking on one of the items 1 - 6 below, you will find a short description as well as links to the real world governance experiments which have inspired us to synthesize these potentially 'enabling governance arrangements'.
- Create a comprehensive vision of change
- Make space for adaptation and experimentation
- Build bridges between separate stakeholder groups
- Commit to a meaningful participation process
- Tap into existing community networks
- Develop resilient, and self-sufficient financing arrangements
Which further governance arrangement do you consider crucial on the way towards governance for sustainability AND justice in cities?
We have selected ten real-word experiments (mostly within EU-funded projects) and developed detailed descriptions which detail their governance variables and processes. We have also created a brief governance scenario per case studied. These scenarios share general insights in a narrative style, and we hope that they pique your interest and provide inspiration about what could be possible in your city!
We stress that the interventions presented below (the detailed descriptions and the corresponding scenarios) - are not entirely “successful interventions”. Rather, they are regarded as general inspiration and real-world cases for testing out how to enable translocal learning.
Example of a partially successful governance intervention
In addition to our 10 fruitful governance interventions for sustainability and justice in cities (see above), we developed a rich description and a scenario of a governance intervention that demonstrates possible pitfalls when developing sustainable infrastructure in a public-private partnership. This intervention extracted from a south-eastern European setting outlines the partial success of governance interventions and encourages caution about the externalities of public-private partnerships, especially in the context of austerity that may increase in the post-COVID era.
Template for developing further descriptions: Rich description template